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The Death of Louis XIV

The great Jean-Pierre Léaud, synonymous with French cinema for over half a century, delivers a majestic, career-capping performance as the longest-reigning French monarch during his final days. Catalan director Albert Serra’s elegant, engrossing contemplation on death and its representation finds the extravagantly wigged Sun King slowly wasting away in his bedchamber, surrounded by devoted servants, pets and a retinue of hopeless doctors. Filled with ravishing candlelit images and painstaking details gleaned from Saint-Simon’s memoirs and other historical texts, Louis XIV is as darkly funny as it is moving, revealing the absurdity of the rule-bound royal court, but even more so of death itself.

Is The Death of Loius XIV a royal hit? Find out in our July film podcast. Review starts at 11.25…